Discrimination of organic versus psychogenic impotence with the DSFI

Leonard R. Derogatis, Jon K. Meyer, Carol N. Dupkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The present study was oriented to discriminating impotence of biogenic origins from that with a psychogenic etiology on the basis of a psychological inventorythe DSFI. Subjects for the study were 14 males who presented with impotence clearly related to organic causes and a matched group of 14 males with impotence of psychogenic origins. Comparisons of scores on the eight subtests of the DSFI revealed psychogenic males to have significantly higher scores on two subscales-Experience and Gender Role Definition. The latter showed psychogenic males to have hypermasculine role definitions, and a cutting-score analysis revealed an 89% correct etiologic assignment on the basis of the gender role variable. A detailed analysis of the Symptoms subtest indicated that psychogenically impotent males also showed markedly reduced scores on the Phobic Anxiety dimension. Results were interpreted in the context of gender role research, and a dynamic hypothesis suggesting that counterphobic mechanisms may be central to psychogenic impotence was postulated. Evaluation of the increase in predictive efficiency associated with use of the DSFI in this context revealed it to be of marked value in the clinical assessment of male potency disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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